Stephen joined the firm in 2021 as a Tax Shareholder, selected to lead the firm’s growing State and Local Tax (SALT) practice.

Stephen focuses on client needs specific to state and local tax issues, including state corporate income franchise tax, sales and use tax, property tax and incentives/credits. He brings extensive experience in all aspects of state income taxation, including compliance technical support and review, SEC financial reporting requirements for income tax disclosures and analysis of client filings for refund opportunities. Prior to joining the firm, he led the Northeast Ohio Indirect/SALT practice for a national firm.

His experience and knowledge in all facets of state and local tax issues helps his clients maximize opportunities for their organizations.


B.S.- Business Administration, Accounting and Finance, University of Cincinnati
J.D.- University of Cincinnati College of Law

Professional and Community Involvement

Member – The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Ohio Society of Certified Public Accountants


Do you have a hobby or personal passion?
Above all, I enjoy spending time with my wife and four kids.

What was the best advice you’ve ever received?
Your attitude towards a challenge dictates the outcome.

Who was your role model?
My mother.

What was your childhood dream?
To pitch for the Atlanta Braves.

If you could go back in time, what advice would you give your college self?
Be a sponge – this is one of the greatest opportunities you will have to learn and have new experiences.

People would be surprised to know that I…
have performed in concert with the late Marvin Hamlisch, one of only two PEGOT’s (winner of a Pulitzer Prise, Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony awards).

What is the best or most interesting thing about your career?
State taxes are never static. The changing nature of business, the economy, and federal and state legislation always create new and interesting challenges.

What was your first job?
Pumping gas at a gas station in Woodbine, New Jersey (my apologies to all the people who lost their gas caps).

When you have an hour of free time, what do you like to do?
Activities with my wife and kids or watching as much as I can of a Cincinnati Bearcats football or basketball game.

Do you have advice for young professionals?
Seek mentors that are enthusiastic about supporting you, active listeners and provide honest feedback.

Our Thoughts On


Big Problem: Pandemic-fueled Tax Liabilities For Dealerships

Big Thinking: Change Accounting Methods To Achieve $600,000 In Deferred Tax Savings.

Shareholder STEVE BARBER has been with Schneider Downs since 2003 and has over 20 years of experience in all areas of tax advisory services including tax planning, research and compliance, accounting, acquiring, selling and operational and financial reporting matters for closely held businesses. Steve serves clients in several diversified industries, including automobile, construction, real estate and manufacturing. As leader of the Automotive Services Group, Steve learned from most, if not all clients that they were struggling with COVID-19’s impact on their ability to maintain an inventory of new vehicles. For dealers using the last-in, first-out (LIFO) method of inventory accounting, when inventories dip, normally the LIFO reserve is recaptured, and more federal income taxes are due. Therefore, because of the pandemic-fueled shortage, many of Steve’s clients were faced with potential significant tax liabilities. Steve and his team took a two-pronged approach to helping their clients avoid the LIFO reserve recapture. “We suggested a different accounting method to calculate LIFO reserve to avoid the recognition of income prematurely,” he said. In addition, the group devised a way to bolster their clients’ inventory calculations. “We combine the dealer’s used vehicles and parts with their new vehicles to create a larger pool of inventory and to capitalize on the very large used vehicle inflation,” said Steve. This made the LIFO reserve recapture not as drastic and, in some cases, increased the reserve. Working with Steve, one client experienced a 25% increase to their LIFO reserve, rather than what would have been a 60% drop caused by the pandemic. Implementing Steve’s team’s suggestions, the dealer changed their income by approximately $2 million and achieved over $600,000 in deferred tax savings. Schneider Downs provides Big Thinking and Personal Focus in delivering a variety of services for large and small businesses, both publicly and privately held, as well as nonprofit organizations, government entities and more. Through our commitment to thought leadership and knowledge management, we deliver the solutions our clients need with a personal commitment to service.

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